Jump, It’s Worth It!


Photo Credit: Ben Becker

Our boy has had some great days in recent weeks. Happy, fun-filled, laughter-ringing, group-hugging kinds of days. Snuggly, wiggly, tickly kinds of days. “Really proud of that kid” kinds of days. Can’t-get-better-than-this kinds of days.

Today was not one of them.

For the last few weeks in particular, he has been generally well-behaved, even at school. Our girl has continued her pitched battle for freedom and control on every possible front. On this particular Tuesday, he’s joined her. Well, to be fair, he hasn’t actually joined her. 

Part of the problem of late is a “wish-I-had-no-sister” attitude. Considering how she goads him, we understand his thought process but he’s still not allowed to be mean. Call it normal sibling rivalry if you like, but we don’t allow it under this roof. (She’s not allowed to be nasty to him, either—sis is just sneakier, so we have to really pay attention to catch it.)

His actions—at home and school—have not been stellar. He’s sort of acted like a Gremlin. Not the fuzzy ones, either.

Her consistent struggle to control is wearing; add his craziness and I’m edging toward the ledge. Hmmmm…should I jump?

Food issues are common among children of neglect. Our little guy fluctuates between eating healthy and eating everything in sight—in the middle of the night.

On one hand, yes, I could not buy unhealthy food, and I’m working on that. In fact, during today’s shopping trip I filled a cart with yogurt, milk, fruits and veggies. The only sweet item was my pumpkin spice coffee creamer mmmmmmmm.

But sometimes (like when we go camping and want to make insanely awesome S’mores using dark chocolate, marshmallows and cinnamon Pop Tarts instead of graham crackers) I buy treats. And then we have leftovers in the pantry.

Other times, I have a craving for Edy’s ice cream, when I’m missing my grandfather. I enjoy a bowlful, after which I forget it’s in the freezer.

This morning we found the empty tart boxes. This afternoon, while cleaning out the freezer, I found two empty ice cream cartons. Likely a direct result of sugar intake: two horrible-not-so-good-rather-bad days at school for the boy.

The silver lining?

I started researching attachment issues again. I found a pretty cool blog called Last Mom.  The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) website showcases some phenomenal articles like this one by Dr. Bruce Perry. More articles are available here. Dr. Perry is with The ChildTrauma Academy.

If necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is the red-headed-step-mama of education. Sometimes I forget how much information is available, if only I’ll take the time to find it.

For the time being, I’ve scooted my rear end away from the ledge. Reading good information is emotionally settling; I highly recommend it.

And now I have to go check to be sure my little Mogwai is enjoying sound sleep. No snacking after midnight, or we’re in big trouble tomorrow…


About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'm determined to give my kids the chance they deserve. Adoption isn't always easy. I promise, you're not alone in this. Join me at - we're in this together.

Posted on November 10, 2015, in Adoption, advice, writing, Writing101 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Oh My good luck tonight! So glad you haven’t jumped, but I never expected you to. You have the perseverance and you will SURVIVE this time with your kids or should I say gremlins 🙂 LOVE that you had some huggy days and praying more of them come your way!!


  2. This was a fascinating read for me as an adult survivor of abuse. One of the abuses of my childhood was food deprivation. The only time it was safe for me to eat was in the middle of the night…and then I could only eat a little…or if I did eat something to the extent that my Mother would notice that I had I would finish it and hide to packaging.

    Today my partner and I struggle with this; I sleep eat and often gorge.

    This is especially troublesome now as I have become disabled and our budget is tight.

    My therapist suggested a motion light. I purchased an inexpensive motion light and set it up in the kitchen. So far it works. Each time I’ve gone into the kitchen the light hits my face and I wake up.

    I don’t know if the issues that affect your son are similar to those that affect me; but I do know that it was validating to read that this is not an unusual behavior for children, or adults from abusive backgrounds.


  3. I love that you are “jumping” anyway!!! Yes, there is tons of info out there. May I recommend anything by Deborah D Gray? In also a huge fan of Gregory Keck. Enjoy the good days and take the rest in stride, am I right?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whoa, that’s sneaky. Midnight snacks – and quiet enough not to wake anyone else in the house up? Doesn’t he feel sick after all that ice cream? I mean, I’m an ice cream pig (Ben & Jerrys Peanut butter cup is my current obssession) but I’m not a little boy. Bless him. I guess there are days when we all feel like emptying the fridge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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